Friday, July 20, 2012

July 19 – To Tolsana, Alaska

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We are heading to Valdez but split the drive into two days. It was another beautiful sunny day. There was a lot of great scenery along the highway so we took our time and stopped at all the scenic lookouts.

Most of the morning we followed a river valley with mountains on the other side.


These red tasseled grasses all along the roadside were quite pretty sparkling in the sunshine.



We passed several very calm reflecting lakes.


There was lots of climbing up and down the side of the valley. The high spots made for some better views but it was a tough day for the RV.




Our lunch stop was at a view point for the Matanuska Glacier. The land around the glacier is privately owned. The only way to get closer is to pay for a $20 a person tour. Nope.



There was a 1 mile long interpretive trail along the ridge but we ended up practically running down it because the mosquitoes were vicious and we had not prepared ourselves.


Our next stop was called sheep mountain. These mountains were formed by lava slowly bulging up from below. In some places the lava reacted with the limestone on top to form this brightly coloured gypsum. The sheep come here to lick the rock to add the calcium from the gypsum to their diet.



We didn’t see any sheep while we were stopped but as we drove away we thought we saw some white specs way up at the top. We guessed they had to be sheep because there was no snow on these mountains.

As we climbed higher the valley became very broad and flat with fewer and fewer trees.

We weren’t sure what would cause this speckled lake.


Then the mountains disappeared and the scenery got a bit monotonous. The road condition also deteriorated with a lot more frost heaves.



Just before we got to the campground, we got our first view of the mountains in Wrangell St. Elias National Park.


The campground we are in is very nice. Each site is next to a creek. I asked for a no hookup sire which are normally for tents but they had one that we just barely fit into. At dusk it got VERY buggy here. I tried to go for a walk around the campground but I only got about 100 yards before I had to turn around and run back to the RV.



We were lucky today. I have read other people’s blog that came through here in gloomier weather and they didn’t see much at all.

On to Valdez tomorrow.

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